Free Markets, Free People

Iran Policy – What Is Going On?

National Review Online does a little review of the run up to the announcement by President Obama at the G20 summit concerning Iran and wonders what is going on. For instance, NRO points to Joe Biden 8 days ago. This was in answer to why the US was pulling its missile defense shield from Poland and the Czech Republic:

“[Biden said] Iran — a key concern for the United States — was not a threat.

“I think we are fully capable and secure dealing with any present or future potential Iranian threat,” he told CNN’s Chris Lawrence in Baghdad, where he is on a brief trip.

“The whole purpose of this exercise we are undertaking is to diminish the prospect of the Iranians destabilizing that region in the world. I am less concerned — much less concerned — about the Iranian potential. They have no potential at this moment, they have no capacity to launch a missile at the United States of America,” he said.

So 8 days ago, Iran was a diminished threat that was much less of a concern than previously.


President Obama and the leaders of France and Britain blasted Iran’s construction of a previously unacknowledged uranium enrichment facility and demanded Friday that Tehran immediately fulfill its obligations under international law or risk the imposition of harsh new sanctions.

The new Iranian plant, the country’s second uranium enrichment facility, is believed by U.S. officials to be part of a broad effort by Iran’s leadership to pursue the ability to build nuclear weapons. Iran has repeatedly denied having any such goal, insisting that its nuclear program is aimed at generating electricity. U.S. officials said they believe the Qom plant is not yet operational but is intended to produce highly enriched uranium — suitable for nuclear weapons — and will be capable within months of producing enough material for at least one bomb per year.

Says NRO:

Boy, the Obama administration must have just been profoundly misguided and dangerously misinformed about Iran’s capabilities and intentions. Right?

Right – because, as pointed out 8 days ago, the reason the missile defense shield was pulled, per the VP of the US, was because the US considered Iran a much diminished threat. So obviously this is “new” information which has profoundly changed the game and required the US to completely rethink its policy since it has emerged.


@markknoller US officials say Obama first told of Iran secret nuclear plant during the transition — as President-elect. 9/25 10:28 A.M.

WTF? Mark Knoller of CBS says this was something the administration has known for almost a year? So what was all this nonsense about a diminished Iranian threat as a reason to pull the promised missile shield that the administration had promised the Poles and Czechs a mere 6 months before?

Asks NRO:

Astonishingly incompetent, perilously naive, or deliberately dishonest? Which is it?

I’d suggest all three. And I think that will become alarmingly apparent as this crisis continues to unfold.

I’ll also toss this out there as well – it was saved for a forum in which the President would have the attention of the world focus on him (a much tighter focus than the UN) and staged to maximize that. All politics all the time. He wanted the non-binding non-proliferation resolution from the security council before he took on Iran.  Meanwhile Joe Biden’s (and the DoD’s) credibility is left twisting in the wind.

So now the staging has been accomplished and the spotlight turned on the President. That’s the easy part. The usual talking the talk, something at which he’s quite good. Now comes the hard part – walking the walk – something he’s yet to demonstrate he’s capable of doing.

Oh – and where in the world is Hillary Clinton?



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18 Responses to Iran Policy – What Is Going On?

  • I think Israel said to do something or we will. So revealing the facility was to help prompt more talks, sanctions, etc.

    Just my guess.

  • Apparently the US, France and UK have known about this for some time, but didn’t make the information public because they thought Iran didn’t know that we knew. Then Iran found out that it was known and once that became clear, the US, UK had to go public. As far as Poland goes, the real reason that was dropped is because it was expensive, unnecessary and needlessly complicated efforts to put together a comprehensive strategy on Iran.

    You guys try to spin this against Obama, but he’s handling this superbly, and with multilateral support. Funny how you were so forgiving of the incompetence of the last guy who pushed us into war with falsified intelligence!

    • What multi-lateral support? NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE YET.

      • Heh … we’ve had multi-lateral support for decades. What we’ve rarely seen, and I don’t think this situation will be any different, is multi-lateral action.

        • It’s worth noting in that case that Bush did in fact, have “multi-lateral” action on his side in Iraq. We didn’t go in there alone.

    • PS- Are you out and out saying Bush lied?

      • Erb is saying BOTH that Bush was incompetent AND a liar in BOTH Iraq and Afghanistan…

        Previous Erb:

        Bush bumbled us into wars [sic] on false intelligence, meaning that due to his incompetence hundreds of thousands died world wide, American service people were abused (PTSD, broken families, failed businesses, death and severe injury), the US lost considerable power and prestige, and our economy went into a state of collapse.


        They manufactured intelligence in the backrooms of Bolton and Cheney

        Erb can’t decide if he should go with incompetent or liar — so he goes with both.

    • Bush was neither lying nor incompetent in Iraq. He had multilateral support. He had UN Security Council resolution 1441. He had bipartisan authorization from Congress. He had popular support in the U.S.

      Fortunately, Saddam Hussein did not comply with his clear obligations and he fell to “serious consequences.”

      After the invasion, the UN Security Concil put the U.S. and the U.K. in charge.

      The aftermath got sloppy and turned into the middle-bad case, through which the U.S. military and Bush persevered in the face of screaming little girls in the bodies of men back in the U.S., particularly at universities, in the media, and among Leftwing Democratic politicians, many of whom had voted to authorize the war.

  • Some say the iranians went public because they discovered that we knew about their plant. Others — like me — say that we pre-empted them because we’re desperately trying to put a negative spin on the fact that the Iranians voluntarily disclosed a nuclear facility more than 12 months before they were legally required to, by portraying it as an ‘admission’ of perfidy. The fact remains that Iran is fully entitled to build as many enrichment plants as it wants, and as long as it declared it to the IAEA 6 months prior to the introduction of nuclear material into the facilities, it has done absolutely nothing wrong. Go suck on that.

    • Heh … well in the big scheme of things, it won’t matter a bit – sucking or otherwise. Iran has its plans, the rest of the world has theirs. What is or isn’t “legally required” will play no part in the determination of how either play out. In international politics/relations, “legal” is a notional concept at best. See Honduras.

  • The other thought is that this was released to preempt an Israeli strike.

  • The unanswered question that keeps bouncing around ..

    Did this previously unreported nuclear facility exist at the time of the earthquake in Qom … and was it the reason that Iran refused aid ?

  • There are two choices with Iran, one bad, the other horrible.

    Cheney wanted Bush to pull the trigger. Bush decided not to pull the trigger.

    Netanyahu sounds like he is ready to pull the trigger.

    If that can be done along the lines of the Syria model it would be fine, but it probably can’t be because the Iranians will go wild and everyone will be forced to react and pick sides even though no one wants Iran to have nuclear weapons. (Well, the Chinese probably don’t care and the Russians possibly don’t care.)

  • And where’s Hillary?

    I think she’s looking at the train schedule to New York.

    And with Obama’s approval numbers down and lots more of the medical care battle to go, she might be wondering about the 2012 primaries, and looking in the mirror, trying to decide if she needs more work before then.

    Plus, a week ago the economy was recovering and then the August durable goods number came out.

  • The only thing this bulldodo by Obama is going to achieve is a small nuclear war. What an absolute moron.

  • There’s not much point in debating Erb directly on his claim that Obama is handling Iran “superbly”. That belief is a straw that many of Obama’s diminishing number of followers are clutching, and it is a curious belief.

    From what I can see, Obama and the US have gotten nothing from all of Obama’s fancy 3-D chess playing, fancy rope-a-dope manuevering for the past nine months.

    Sure, Obama still gets wild applause from UN delegates and big love from the likes of Qaddafi, Chavez and Castro. Obama did get a pointless “All We Are Saying … Is Give Nuclear Disarmament a Chance” declaration from the UN — with no specific mention of Iran and North Korea.

    But that’s it. No help in Afghanistan. No help with Guantanamo. No peace results in the Middle East. Boos from Israel, Eastern Europe, and Honduras. A number of pundit types, not just nutty Tea Party folks, are noticing that Obama looks weak.

    Plus nothing from Iran. In fact Iran released the information about the Qom facility the day after Obama’s Excellent UN Adventure — undercutting, if not humiliating, Obama. His team had to play catch-up and even then Sarkozy was the star who said the tough needed things, and zapped Obama for his lack of reality.

    So if this is Obama’s grand strategy to rein in Iran’s nuclear ambitions, I’m eager to see how it plays out. Because so far Obama looks like he has always looked — like an inexperienced campus radical playing at being President and making a dog’s breakfast of it.

    Yet the Prof. Erb’s of the world call the mess, Eggs Benedict.

    • Good analysis, Huxley.

      If, as I suspect, push must come to shove and Israel must do the dirty work, then the Obama White House will be ready to jump right in and condemn Israel.

      The one thing I worry most about is whether the Israelis have the right weapons for this kind of work. They’ll no doubt be facing deep, hardened, underground sites. The U.S. has been developing specialized bombs (advanced “bunker busters”) for that type of job. It’s not clear to me that the Israelis have gotten hold of any of that, but there’s a lot that we don’t know.